Team Betta Warwick driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane at the start of Targa Tasmania. Photo Mark Lewis
Team Betta Warwick driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane at the start of Targa Tasmania. Photo Mark Lewis Contributed

Trouble at Targa for Team Betta

WELL day two is over and the Team Betta Warwick Evo is parked in the Silverdome all ready to go this morning.

Tuesday started out North west of Launceston at "Westwood", and for those that followed us last year, you will recall that this was the stage that we only just finished after destroying the motor.

This year was a complete turnaround and we posted a better than base time and finished the stage with no penalties.

The Team Betta Warwick Evo felt strong and fast and all was looking good for a great day.

Stage two of the day was the much respected "High Plains" and we started well but about half-way through the car developed a very severe shudder under brakes causing Rob to brake much earlier than what he should have been, thus resulting in a slower than normal time on that stage.

Both Rob and Peter pondered the cause of the mysterious shudder and it was decided that it should be looked at ASAP.

On to the next stage of "Sheffield" we went with a little bit of trepidation but willing to give it a go anyway. 

Well the shudder seemed to disappear until very late in the stage. 

It was then apparent that the brakes needed to have a lot heat in them for the shudder to be present.

The time posted by us was average but at least not slow. 

At the completion of this stage, the Team Betta Warwick Evo was serviced by Mark and Rod with fuel and water before we moved on to the much loved stage of "Nook".

The car seemed faultless through the stage and a good time was posted. 

"Moriarty" was next and the car seemed to be down on power and responsiveness and the time posted reflected that.  Another mystery, or so we thought.

On to stage 6 of the day "Merseylea".  As we rolled up to the start line the car just stopped.  The car lost all electrical power.

Peter quickly jumped out and connected the spare 12 volt jump pack to the battery and the car started and off we set on the 10km race stage.

At about the half-way point, the car developed a severe miss and distinct lack of power and then at the 7.2km point just stopped.  We were able to roll of the racecourse and stop in a safe position. 

Frantic phone calls were made to the pit crew and things were organised for when the road was 'opened'.

Mark and Rod were able to organise another battery and alternator in Devonport whilst Gub and Troy were on their way to collect us and the car.

Upon inspection of the car by Troy, it was found that the main lead from the alternator was melted through and disconnected, therefore no charge was getting to the battery and this caused the battery to go flat and the computer closed the car down.

The wire was reconnected in a sort of way and we set off to lunch under our power.

Lunch at Devonport was very short, only a matter of minutes, whilst Troy and Mark made the modifications a bit more secure.

At this stage we were behind the 999 car, and for those of you that don't know, every competitive car must be in front of the 999 car.

We were hoping to catch the 999 car at the start of Targa Stage 11 "Paloona".

At least that went right, and we were able to slot in front of the 999 car at the start of TS11.  The stage was completed and the time posted was good.

The last stage of the day was "Mt Roland" and this is just a beautiful piece of road.  The time recorded was again good.

The car was immediately taken to service park at the Silverdome and serviced. 

The alternator fix was again modified so as to not let us down again and there was all sorts of theories thrown around as to what is causing the brake shudder. 

A fix was performed and we will see what happens on day three.

As a result of the bad luck in not finishing a competitive stage, a late time was added to our time as a penalty and this sees us now in 23rd spot in class.

Not what we were hoping for on Day 2 of the event, but as people keep telling me, "that is motorsport".

Today will see the team travel east and compete in five stages before lunch in St Helens and then three stages returning to Launceston with the last stage being run on the streets of Longford.